Monthly Archives: October 2020

Things in the kitchen that only I use

I mentioned the crock pot and how I was the only person using the slow cooker yesterday. Well there are some other things in the kitchen that I’m the only one using them.

One thing I’m the only person using is the rice cooker. I think that might be because I bought it a while back with money I made with M-points, back when they were still a thing, and that gives you an idea of how many M-points I got, that first I could pay for a rice cooker and second that the rice cooker was high enough quality to last this long. Or it could be that Mrs. the Poet really doesn’t like to use the rice cooker/vegetable steamer for some reason unknown to mankind.

Now this is an odd one, but I’m the only person using the Keurig, for anything. I use it for many things that don’t include making coffee, like teas, soups, and other hot drinks. I can use it to get 2 cups of decent tea out of a teabag, and every once in a while we actually buy the K-cups and I make coffee with it. But that is rare, mostly because we (I) drink a lot of coffee and making it one cup at a time in the Keurig is Ex$pen$ive and for the most part not as good as making drip coffee by the pot. I drink coffee from a mug that holds almost a quart, Mrs. the Poet has an 8 oz. cup once a day. So unless it’s coffee that someone has given us, or a nearly free buy at the local grocery, we don’t use the Keurig to make coffee.

So we have 3 kitchen appliances that Mrs. the Poet doesn’t use but I do. Make of this what you will.

I did a delicious experiment today

The experiment was making stew in a crock pot slow cooker.  I already knew making stew in the slow cooker was possible, the experiment was would it taste good? The best receipes are simple so I assembled stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and half a large onion and added enough cold water to cover, then added salt and pepper to what I hope was to taste. I turned the cooker to high until a slow simmer was attained, then to low, and as the sun was rising and the local school kids left for school, I went to bed.

There was a great deal of activity in the house today, so my sleep was non-contiguous. That’s a fancy way of saying it took me a long time to get enough sleep. Hence the need to be in the bed almost 12 hours to get enough sleep to not feel like I had been punched in the face. That’s the easiest way to tell if I had enough sleep, if my face hurts I need to get back in bed.

But enough about me, you need to know about the stew. The stew was …acceptible… but by no means outstanding. I needed to use more salt and pepper, and some herbs would have helped. But as I understand it there are several variations on the concept of “stew”, and “just salt and pepper” is one of those concepts. There are other concepts that shuffle the veggies that accompany the meat, different meats, as well as different ratios of the various veggies. This particular combo used pork, a couple of medium-sized spuds and a couple of handfulls of baby cut carrots and that half onion, with about a half teaspoon of black pepper and a full tablespoon of salt. I was concerned that I had too much salt and pepper, but as it turned out I needed more salt and pepper.

On the one hand it’s a good thing that I can make stew with the crock pot, especially since Mrs. the Poet melted the stove down by putting it on self-clean for 3 hours. On the other hand, Mrs. the Poet does not like the crock pot, so it’s mine and I’m the only one who uses it, so I’m doing a lot more cooking around the house. I don’t want to be the main cook because that takes a lot of the enjoyment out of cooking. It’s fun to cook when you want to cook and there’s something you want to make. It’s much less fun to cook when you don’t want to cook and you don’t know what you’re going to cook. That’s the situation much too often at Casa de El Poeta. On really bad days there is also the problem of inventorying what is still edible before deciding what to cook. And this highlights the difference between when I cook and when Mrs. the Poet cooks,  when I cook it’s because I want to, when Mrs. the Poet cooks it’s because she has to. If this experiment is successful there will be more days where I want to cook than Mrs. the Poet has to.

Freezing my assets off

There was an arctic front moving through yesterday and last night, meaning my arthritis decided to immobilize my fingers until I acclimated to the change in weather. That’s my excuse for not posting, and I’m sticking to it.

Seriously though, this cold front really messed me up. The overcast days preceding the FROPA prevented my resets from working and my sleep schedule was basically 2 hour naps 4 or 5 times during the day, until the front finally came through. And my brain was basically running on minimum power until I finally got reset. That is doubleplus ungood for everything except basic life support like eating, maintaining hydration, washing hands after using the bathroom, and putting clothes on. Composing a blog post just required too many processor cycles to work, or “too many spoons” for followers of that paradigm. I’m still running on a processor cycle deficit, meaning each sentence has required several attempts to match a subject to as predicate. I’m basically running just above “See Spot. See Spot chase the ball.” levels right now, but I am running at a literate level again. Yesterday I was processing at “Consume web comics” level. Today I’m at writing about consuming web comics level, which I assure you is at least a step or two up.

Something else that has been impaired by the local weather was the NASCAR Cup race that was supposed to run on Sunday. It’s now Tuesday and they still haven’t been able to finish running the race, because the rain and the cold weather have prevented track drying from being completed. When it’s so cold and wet jet engine exhaust won’t dry the pavement, it’s too cold and wet to race on an oval track. And looking at that sentence tells me I’m still only barely exceeding “See Spot run” because I still have several thousand words in my functional vocabulary. That sentence was about as primitive a construction as English can get, and yesterday I couldn’t even write that good. That is a slightly frightening thought.

Well, I still am only writing at grade school levels, I really don’t have anything important to write about beyond what I already wrote, and I’m boring myself reading my own writing. That seems like a good reason to stop writing and hit “Publish”.

I haven’t been well lately

My sleep schedule is still borked, and I’m still getting muscle “not feel goods” and a bunch of other things. I mean nothing really hurts, just a whole bunch of things that don’t work anywhere close to “right”, and it really annoys me. I’m supposed to be able to do almost anything to my body and still have it work right, and this recent bout of “not working within design tolerances” is just really pissing me off.

On things that are not my body, I think I might have the mount for the steering box nailed down so it won’t flex under load and cause steering to be imprecise. I mean it’s probably overkill by several magnitudes, but I’m pretty sure I have enough bracing so that it won’t move when I make rapid changes in direction. Moving the box in front of the axle made a big difference, because now I have structure above the mount I can tie into and prevent side to side flex in the mount. There’s not even a possibility of other movement, because first of all there are no forces in those directions to speak of, and second because for all the other forces there are already massive trusses in place just because that was the easiest way to build the mount.

On the steering arm, still waiting to purchase cutting tools large enough to handle the 1/4″ thick stock needed for the forces involved, because basically I’m looking at buying everything I already have all over again, but bigger/heavier. I’ll need a new drill press, new saws, bigger drills, the whole shooting match. This means about a thousand dollars in tools, maybe a little less if I buy used. But looking at Harbor Freight, getting a drill press big enough to handle drilling the holes for the 5/8″ heim joints is the big $$ item. The cheapest press is this one. And it barely fills the bill.

I think maybe I can use my angle grinder and metal cutting wheel for rough cuts and the grinding wheel for the fine shaping, but it will be slow work and there will be many chances at messing up the part because of how thick the stock is. For cutting thicker stock they have a bandsaw that will do the work, faster than a cutoff wheel but still pretty slow. I’m going to have to think about the bandsaw, but the drill press is probably a must just because my other drills are not up to handling the size of the drill bits needed for the job. The biggest bit my hand drills will handle is 3/8″ and the drill for the 5/8″ threaded hole is 9/16″ while the non-threaded hole is the full 5/8″. I don’t know what the chuck capacity is of my current drill press, but the piece is pretty much worn out from building bicycles. If I try to drill too fast through even just thick wood the chuck falls out of the press. It worked fine for a long time, but it’s just worn out now.

And I guess I have run out of things to write about, other than because of the weather change it is now in the 60’s F inside my office. My thermometer/clock says it’s 67°F in here and my fingers are not as nimble on the keyboard as they are during the summer when even with the AC on it stays 76° in the house and my hands and fingers all work perfectly without hesitation🤣. That’s a joke, nothing on me works perfectly or without hesitation. Everything is out of whack to some degree, but most of me works best between 75 and 78°F. Above that and I start sweating, too much below that and things start getting stiff, and then they get painful. And we are at the upper boundary of stiff and painful today.

Well I’m going to call this the end of the post, you should go have a nice day or something.😉

 

This is annoying

We get these muffins from the Tom Thumb cheap, and they taste good, but there is a problem.Muffin Fallout

As you can see there is a great deal of fallout from eating one of the buggers, all of them. It’s just that with chocolate chip the fallout is easier to find than with Banana Nut, or especially Blueberry, those crumbs are practically invisible on these floors. I swear there are more crumbs than muffin, or at least more crumbs on me and the floor than there was muffin I ate.

And that’s my tiny little rant for the day. Petty, I know, but this is something that has been bothering me ever since they started putting these muffins on this super hot deal, nine muffins for like less than $6. It’s a great deal, just over $0.60 a muffin, but it seems like I never get to actually eat the whole muffin. Before they put the deal on the muffins we didn’t buy any because they were like $1.10/muffin.

No game this week, again

Family tragedy struck one of the players in our group as her father-in-law died a few days before game. Also, I have been beset by allergies that have really upset my sleep cycle as my sleep aid is just a double-strength allergy pill, minus the buffers. So, instead of putting me to sleep, it just clears up my nose and eyes for the night until it wears off. I was awake after 0700 this morning even though I put myself to bed by 0500.

I ended up sleeping through most of the race today, but I did manage to tune in for the last 20 or so laps, watching Kevin Harvick chase Joey Logano and almost catch him until Joey used dirty air or lapped cars to slow him down to keep Harvick from passing. It was a master class on how to defend a lead in a Cup race. I’m not a fan of Logano, but I do give credit where credit is due, and Joey drove his butt off keeping Harvick at bay.

No progress has been made in the Sprint-T redesign. I have all the major pieces in place, and until I can get some raw stock, which is really hard to come by these days because of the one-two punch of tariffs and COVID19, I really can’t build anything. Even in the case that I was able to find the raw stock, the combination of the stock thickness and having tools sized for bicycle building and not hot rods leaves me with stock with the dimensions laid out but no way to cut and drill to the sizes needed and make the part. It is frustrating to have drills that won’t handle drill bits over 3/8″ when the smallest hole is just under 1/2″ and the big hole is 9/16″ to allow for the thread depth of the bolts and the tap that cuts the thread so those bolts can screw into the part. It’s a combination of lack of power in the motors and the chucks just not being physically big enough to hold the larger drill bits. And for my cutting tools the 1/4″ thickness is pushing the limits of the equipment because when I bought the tools years ago when I was building bicycles 3mm (1/8″) steel or 5mm aluminum was the heaviest stock I was going to ever cut. Building hot rods wasn’t even on my mind. Let’s just say I was in a bit of a state over cars since someone tried to kill me with one, actually several someones tried several times with varying degrees of success, but nobody actually killed me thank [$DEITY]. So for most of this century since the wreck, I have had varying degrees of antipathy about cars.

OK, let me take inventory of tools, parts and raw stock that I need to complete the Sprint-T. I need something that can make square or mitered cuts in stock at least 1/4″ thick in mild or chrome-moly steel. I need a drill press that can handle 3/4″ holes in the 1/4″ steels, and up to 1/2″ thick in aluminum. I need a welder that will weld over 1/4″ thick steel, and that will weld aluminum. I mean I can use oxy-hydrogen to weld aluminum now, but that is a very tricky technique for someone with cataracts to work with, and I’m not sure that it didn’t contribute to giving me cataracts in the first place. Anyway, after the tools I need lots of raw stock, DOM or chrome-moly seamless tubing in 1.5″ diameter and 0.120″ (7 sticks) and 0.060″ (5 sticks) wall thickness, some 1.25″ diameter DOM and 0.120″ (2 sticks) wall for making the tie rod, drag link, panhard rod, and the torque arm. Also needed is a metric buttload of hardware to connect things that have to be able to move in relation to other things, in various sizes from 3/4″ fine thread (pretty big) to 4-40 (tee-niny).

It’s getting late, so I’m wishing you a good night and pleasant dreams.

Something new happened

Well, I had something new pop up yesterday morning. I had been doing a lot of stuff at the computer the last couple of days, which means a lot of time sitting behind the desk with the rocking chair. Well yesterday and this morning I had a new kind of pain to deal with as the usual swelling in my feet went away. I want to say it was excruciating but really it was just annoying, and something I haven’t learned how to block via meditation. It’s a sharp, stabbing pain in my toes and the soles of my feet, and as I said it’s not bad, but since I can’t block it, it really gets on my nerves.

Speaking of nerves, my hypothesis is this is nerve pain because the pain pills I have for joint and muscle pain don’t even touch this pain. In fact this morning it didn’t even start until after I took the pills. And I borrowed one of Mrs. the Poet’s opiate pain pills she got after her surgery (the first one out of the bottle, I taught her my meditation pain management methods) and it did “nothing”.

Pain has been the word of the day at Casa de El Poeta, as I try to figure this one out. Nerve pain is especially vexing. My normal methods of dealing with pain are to meditate, and visualize the pain as a gate or fence with a gate, that was keeping me from living my life, then open the gate and walk through it, but nerve pain didn’t work that way. It didn’t 19 years ago and it doesn’t now. Back right after the wreck I was prescribed Neurontin for the nerve pain which was a recent use of the drug which was normally used to suppress seizures, which was something else that happened to me after the wreck. So since I had already had seizures the night of the wreck, and I had nerve pain because my lower leg had been basically turned into hamburger by the impact and everything was a mess and there was massive nerve damage the assessment was that I was having something like a seizure where all the nerve damage was, especially since I didn’t have pain while they were trying to prevent any seizures in the hospital. They had me on more than one anti-seizure med at first, then just one and just before I was discharged it was none.

But after I got home I started getting horrible pains in the area of the “hamburger” that had been my calf muscles, and also in my foot and toes. And to go with that I had bad stuff going on with my foot, with sensations not being felt where the stimulus was applied. Touching a toe would feel like something on the sole and vice-versa, although the exchanges were never one-to-one. When touching a toe felt like the bottom of my foot, touching that spot felt like a toe, but not the same toe that touching made feel like that spot on the bottom of my foot. Eventually I got the wiring sorted out by getting my foot rubbed by my care attendant and by Mrs. the Poet. I could see where I was getting rubbed, and I could tell my brain that in spite of what it felt like that was what was going on.

And so now we have the nerves acting up again, on both legs this time. This makes me think that I’m having age-related issues instead of more stuff to do with the wreck. Which is good, in a relative way. It’s not good because it hurts and pain is ungood, but it’s similar to what people who have never been killed by getting hit with a truck go through every day, kind of good. For me that makes it the “not bad” kind of good. Sure it’s uncomfortable, but it’s the normal kind of uncomfortable that old people sometimes go through every day, which makes it a “good-ish” thing.

And I’m feeling self-conscious about talking about pain to the point that the only reason I’m hitting publish is otherwise I have wasted all this time typing out what is going on, and I would have to come up with something else to publish.

Swimming as hard as I can but not getting anywhere

One of the things I do is compare and contrast, it’s how I got my stage name when I was a spoken word poet, which became my pen name when I was first starting out as a blogger, and now is just my name. Well now I’m feeling like that place in Wonderland where as the Red Queen put it “You have to run as fast as you can just to stay put.” Or I’m in an infinity pool set on high and it won’t adjust to my speed.

And I have this tremendous urge to write, but nothing to write about except this complaint about wanting/needing to write and no topics present themselves for me to expound upon. I have been looking for things on the internets to write about and coming up empty, except for politics, which I don’t want to write about here for obvious reasons. I mean I have had personal experience with bad police work, but my complaining here about a grievance that is nearly twenty years old or even the most recent is more than 5 years old.

Actually that is a good stepping off point for this rant, stolen bicycles and their non-reaction from the police. I have had 3 bicycles stolen from me and had slight response (they tried to give me someone else’s stolen bike they recovered) to zero response (refused to take a report) to negative response when I attempted to recover my bike from the pawnshop it was fenced to. It took months after people in my bike club saw my bike in a pawn shop before I could take possession of the remains that were damaged even further by the cop trying to stuff the bike into the trunk of the cruiser.

And even more annoying was the “detective” who tried to tell me they didn’t look for the truck that hit me doing about 60 MPH (100 km/hr) because there was no proof it was damaged in the impact with my body that threw me over 100 feet (30 m). Now everybody knows hitting anything weighing as much as I did at the time of the wreck (about 225 pounds (100kg)) at that speed is going to crumple sheetmetal beyond simple repairs (no, that won’t “buff out”), but there was no attempt to find the weapon vehicle at local bodyshops.

So, yeah, I’m on the “defund the Police!” side of the debate. My experience was when I was a victim they did almost nothing to either catch the perp or recover my property, and when I found my stolen property on my own I had to wait months to get it back because someone else might have a valid claim to it (?!).

And I’m stymied on working on the steering arm because my tools won’t work with the stock I have. I need to get bigger drills to handle the drill bits I need to use to make the threaded holes I need to make the part, and I need something like the drill press, but hand-turned, to make the threads straight so the bolt doesn’t get bound up in boogered threads.

Oh yeah, while looking for topics I found this article on German beer types. A Beginner’s Guide to German Beer Styles 

 

Did the Acetobacter exist prior to human alcohol-making activity?

I sometimes get sidetracked by questions like I put in the headline, partially because I have ADD since I was little, and something that might be related to that, I have an insatiable curiosity about, well EVERYTHING!

Now usually a trip to the library or a quick Google search answers my curiosity, because we humans have answered most of the easy questions. But in this case, the answer is not-so-easy. Acetobacter have been found in the wild, but are they wild or just escaped from humans? My google-fu says probably wild and evolved because yeasts sometimes ferment flower nectars into alcohols and wherever there’s a food source there will be something evolved to eat it. So the conclusion is Acetobacter predates human evolution, and was not the result of leaving beer uncovered in Sumeria after brewing.

Also there are very many varieties of Acetobacter in the wild, which also suggests that vinegar is not the result of humans leaving their wine and beer uncovered. So far the evidence we have is that beer and wine pre-date writing by about 1K years, as pottery shards have been found with residue from beer and wine that predate the earliest known writings. And there have been Acetobacter around long before that, meaning there has been malt vinegar around millennia before there were fish and chips to put it on.

So, this is how my mind works.

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

I’m sure this will surprise noone that at the end of the XX century I was a member of a group that wanted to restore Hawaii to a separate country, on the grounds that occupying soldiers and sailors and their families were allowed to vote in the election that decided if Hawaii was going to be a state, return to being a separate country, or remain a territory. The grounds for that were along the lines of allowing occupying Russian troops to vote for reunifying East Germany with West Germany, or becoming part of Russia. We wouldn’t recognize that election as valid, so why did the soldiers etc. get to vote in whether Hawaii should be restored as a nation?

For those unfamiliar with Hawaiian history, the Dole company basically stole the country with US backing just before the turn of the XX century for growing pineapples and sugarcane, and used the Marines to overthrow the existing monarchy. Given that the winners write the history, the fact that history says the people were generally happy with their form of government prior to the Dole company stealing the country says a lot.

Anywho, IIRC being a baby at the time and living on the mainland, the ballot had 3 choices, become a state, remain a territory, or restore the monarchy and become an independent country again. And Google says that while that was what was SUPPOSED to be on the ballot, in fact the choice to return to an independent country was not on the ballot. We cheated and only allowed the choices to remain a territory with limited rights, or become a state. So, another count against the legality of the “election”.

On a better note, when this same question came up for the Phillipines in the 1930s being a state wasn’t a choice and the residents chose to be an independent country, with strong ties to the US for defense and commerce because of Japan. When Japan invaded the country in WWII the US garrison was technically already at war after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Anywho, this whole post is because the son of a family friend and fellow UU church member was kicked out of class for refusing to participate with class activities celebrating Columbus day, saying something along the lines of “Columbus didn’t discover America, he was the point man for the invasion.” And since his mother was Native American, he had a point.

Go ahead and celebrate Columbus Day if you wish, just remember all the people who were here to meet him when he “discovered” some Caribbean islands.